We did a really embarrassing photo shoot.

Julie and Lauren

Two things:

1) Hiring somebody to help plan your wedding is a really good idea. It wasn’t too difficult to convince our entertainment savvy neighbor Phillip to help us. Otherwise we probably would be ordering pizza and putting Instagram selfies on the invitation.

2) We are extremely serious people. Not really. Which makes an engagement photo shoot really awkward. Fortunately we had a lot of help not looking like dweebs from my friend Ashley at A. Deran Photography. Well, ok, sometimes we still looked like dweebs, but that’s not Ashley’s fault. Continue reading

My Netflix queue is filled with lesbians from the 1980s

MSDDEHE EC004

The thing is, when the GF goes out on the road, there’s a measurable uptick in my house for redecorating and bad gay movies. I don’t have cable, but  I do have Roku, and Sunday afternoon I came across this little beauty: Desert Hearts.

220px-Desert_heartsposter

You know the story… the lonely, dissatisfied professor – Vivian –  travels to Reno to get a divorce (apparently that was a thing), and falls madly in love with the radical feminist lesbian of the desert – Cay. Spoiler alert: they live happily ever after. Continue reading

You can tear these coffee passports from my cold, dead hands.

1926875_10153091662771079_3973350116197501150_n

I was repurposing a big basket tonight (as I’m apt to do in the wee hours of the morning when I’ve accidentally drank too much coffee after 6pm), and came across a stack of coffee passports and coffee master kits from my time in the trenches at Starbucks. The thought crossed my mind that it might be time to purge some of these things, but I don’t know, I just don’t want to yet.

The thing is: I have a lot of really fond memories of working at Starbucks. It’s surprising how many sentences I start with, “You know, when I worked at Starbucks…”

Starbucks was my first real job. I was set to graduate college, and, having a typical 22-year-old what-am-I-doing-with-my-life existential crisis, walked three miles from school to find a serendipitous sign on the storefront at 670 N. Michigan, Number 2548 – the busiest Starbucks in the Midwest. It went something like: “Now Hiring.”

Ok, as far as coffee art goes I get that Starbucks is the McDonald’s of premium coffee beverages (except, apparently the golden arches have their own fancy coffees now too…), but I maintain that it was, and I assume still is, a fantastic company to work for. Character building… yeah, that’s what it was.1926875_10153091662771079_3973350116197501150_n

So…. right. Purging.

In the end, I parted with the two coffee master kits, but couldn’t give up the passports even after streaming an episode of Hoarders on Netflix.

#thestruggleisreal

It’s okay, Veronica, I don’t wear leggings either

tumblr_lkxxwvyJG01qcdkvgo1_500

Once you get through the social media feeds on the State of the Union address and “Deflate-gate,” there’s another very important public debate going on.

Christian “Mommy Blogger” Veronica Partidge has stirred up some strong feelings about leggings after calmly describing her views about how God doesn’t want her to wear yoga pants because they cause men to have unclean thoughts.

Ok.

I mean, I’m on the fence here, because its hard for me to agree with a woman who deliberately changes her behaviors to cater to men who can’t seem to control their thoughts. I’m sure there are plenty of women who can’t control their thoughts either, and who really gives a crap anyway? Oh right, Veronica Partridge does.

tumblr_lkxxwvyJG01qcdkvgo1_500

On the other hand, leggings aren’t pants, and I don’t wear them in public either. Plus, in today’s society, I’m not sure it’s always lust that crosses our minds. Leggings are not the most flattering of options for bottoms, unless you’re wearing them like tights, or have a butt like Jillian Michaels’.

I’m just not that girl, so, I pull sweatpants on over my yoga pants when I’m leaving the gym. You can agree or disagree with Veronica’s choice of fabric for covering her legs, or you can disagree with her reasons for making the choices she’s made.  I have students who cover their entire bodies from head to toe – and they all have slightly different reasons for doing so. Far be it from me to try and change their minds, or judge their reasons. I guess the point is… wear what you want to wear, and leave Veronica alone.

My Roku Remote Stopped Working. Productivity is Up.

This is not my TV |photo courtesy of ceridwen

Ok, it seems pretty simple. If you watch less TV, you will get more shit done.

The problem is, two weeks into my winter break I was still working my way through Season 2 of American Horror Story on Hulu.

I. Couldn’t. Stop.

Then the Roku remote stopped responding and I just sort of left it that way, because, I had big plans for this break, plans that took a back seat to Hulu, like they do.

This is not my TV | photo courtesy of ceridwen
This is not my TV | photo courtesy of ceridwen

When I could no longer flip through literally years of during-semester television backlog, something amazing happened… I started reading. and writing. and getting shit done.

That’s not to say I was perfect and am going into the first day of the new semester totally confident – that’s not possible. But what I CAN say is that a resolution-less start to my year has included daily writing, ample time at the gym, and no dishes in the sink. Plus, I’ve got a hot second today to write a silly little blog post (SLBP)… and while I love dishing about phenomenology, SLBPs are my favorite.

Maybe you ought to try it. Just rip those batteries out, hide them somewhere, and see how much your life changes. I’m not swearing off TV – not by a long shot – but I AM suggesting that tele-temperance did me a whole lot of good. That, and, after a day or two I didn’t miss it and realized how silly the whole thing is anyway.

p.s. I found a quick hack on how to get the remote working again; I just waited until my semester break was over to actually do it. So there’s no need to worry about spoiling The Biggest Loser on Facebook…

p.p.s This particular SLBP is my 200th post on One Crafty Lady! That’s pretty neat.

I baked a cake, and it deserves a blog post

B6RtrmlCMAEXuha
This photo was appropriated from The Brown Elephant’s twitter feed. You should follow them. And shop there. @HbBrownElephant

First, there’s an elephant in the room (and I don’t mean that photo)… It’s been a minute since I posted on this blog. You might think that a January 1 post is meant as a comeback, or that I’m making a resolution to bake and blog more in 2015.

Nope.

I’m not into making promises I can’t keep. But, I DID recently pay to have this domain renewed, and in light of that, plus a day off and a magnificent Pinterest fail, I thought I’d come off of my crafty sabbatical for a day and share my space cake with you.

It might be the only post of 2015. Maybe. But it’s worth it.

One day last spring, I saw a solar system cake on Pinterest and a theme for the annual NYE party was born.

A few weeks ago, I attempted to find said recipe, to no avail. But then I found this Jupiter cake, which seemed like a way better idea. On top of that, I collected all the necessary goods to make cake pop moons to orbit around Jupiter.

Yesterday at about 4:30pm I realized that all the ingredients were in metric and the battery on my kitchen scale was dead. Rather than do lots and lots of math while sipping leftover Eggnog, I ditched the Jupiter bit, made a big round cake covered in yellow frosting, and stuck cake pop planets into it with a jimmy asteroid belt.

This is what remained of the space cake when I woke up the next morning. No one ate the Earth. Because my party guests are respectful. The green blob is Africa, duh.
This is what remained of the space cake when I woke up the next morning. No one ate the Earth, because my party guests are respectful. The green blob is Africa, duh.

All things considered, I call it a space cake win. And not at all worthy of this list. Should you want to make your own attempt, here are the deets:

Fudgy Cake Pops (Modified from the cake pop pan package directions):

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used half a block of semi-sweet baking chocolate instead)
  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 2 TB Cocoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 C. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • lollipop sticks
  • 24 oz. chocolate bark coating (I used more baking chocolate)

Directions (to make my whole space cake extravaganza, double the recipe):

  1. Preheat oven to 325-deg F. Grease and flour both sides of your cake pop pan. And don’t listen to any of that garbage on the Internet saying that you need a cake pop maker. That’s a glorified waffle iron – a uni-tasker that takes up way too much precious cupboard space. Don’t do it. Just get the pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add sugar and cocoa, stir until blended. Add eggs one at a time, stirring as you go.
  4. Add flour and salt, stir until blended.
  5. Fill each well of the bottom side of the cake pop pan with a heaping tablespoon of batter. Place the top side of the pan and lock into place. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  6. Cool the pan on a wire rack 2-3 minutes, and then transfer the pops to the rack. Meanwhile, pour the remaining batter into a round 8″ greased and floured pan. Bake approximately 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Melt the remaining chocolate in a pan. Dip the top of the lollipop sticks into the chocolate and push halfway into each pop. The chocolate is like glue to keep the sticks in the pops.
  8. Frost, dip, or decorate as desired. I included Pluto, because, debates about its planetary relevance aside, why not have more cake pops?

Lemon Frosting (adapted from Betty Crocker’s cookbook):

Ingredients and Directions:

  • Blend together 2 C. of confectioner’s sugar with 1/4 C. room temperature butter
  • Stir in approximately 2-3 TB heavy cream and 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • Add a few drops of yellow or orange food coloring (because this is going to be the sun)

So the rest is pretty intuitive. Frost the cake when it’s cool, add your sprinkle asteroid belt, and decorate your planets, sticking the pops into the sun. The dusted black plate adds a star-studded stratosphere to the whole thing.

#winning, and Happy New Year.